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on October 25, 2011
I don't review many products on Amazon, but I felt the need to do so for this product. I've been very happy with my purchase, and I feel I can answer a lot of the questions I had when I was looking for what to buy. I've had this just over a month, and if anything changes in the next 6 months to a year I'll update this review to reflect that.

My overall experience with this purchase was excellent. It shipped the second day after I purchased it and arrived a couple of days later. A note on the shipping method; this came by drop truck(that's the smaller delivery trucks with the elevator thing on the back), and the delivery guy was nice enough to cart the box into my house. It is VERY heavy if you're not used to lifting things, and the weight is not evenly distributed. Have some help ready or do what I did and open the box in one room and carry the pieces to the room you are assembling in.

Moving this thing around after assembly is aided by built in 'wheels' on the front stabilizer.(those black round bits are the wheels) However, the assembled unit is roughly 28 to 30 inches wide. That's wider than the average interior door. Add in the length, and turning corners could be very tricky. I built mine in my exercise room without any space issues.

The unit comes with all of the hardware on a clearly labeled sheet of cardboard and each page of the book corresponds to a section on that board. I cut mine into separate sections so I would only need to carry what I needed for each stage into the room. This cut down on clutter, and the instructions cut down on confusion. They also include the screwdriver and wrenches you'll need, so you don't even need to bring any tools.

There are still a couple of tricky stages which would more easily be completed with a second set of hands, but it is doable alone if you take your time and have patience. Running the wires for the console was a bit tricky, as was assembling the end caps on the arms. All of the other parts went on without any problems.

Once it's all together it's time to try it out! I kept my first few sessions short to make sure no bolts went flying and so I wouldn't get dumped onto the floor if I missed a step. The console worked great, and the 3 speed fan(4 if you include 'off') was a nice addition. My only gripe is that the console is VERY primitive. It does have built in speakers and a supplied cord to connect to the headphone out on your MP3 player of choice. That's nice, but I would pass on those in exchange for some more programming options.

This thing has 10 resistance levels, and level 10 is almost too tight to turn. Level 1 was good enough for me even though I've used ones at my local gym for years. Once you get used to the motion and what muscles are getting the most work you can easily up the resistance a few stages for a nice sweaty workout.

Below are my pros and cons, followed by some notes I think are important.

PROS:
- VERY quiet - this thing makes almost no noise at all. I can easily hear my television without turning the sound up from the normal setting.
- Space Efficient - this doesn't take up near the room of almost every other model I looked at in stores(check the specs in the description, it's tiny)
- Easy Assembly - add in the excellent instructions and well designed packaging, and this was easier to put together than some of those shelves you get at Walmart
- Built in Speakers - the speakers work great, they are basically headphones and use the MP3 player's built in volume control
- No Batteries - A lot of at home machines require batteries for the console. This uses a real electrical plug.

CONS:
- Primitive Console - it gets the job done, but there are NO settings besides resistance and a few simple programs. If you're used to a gym level machine with weights, age, etc then this might not be for you. The speed indicator also only shows speed in half mph increments. For example, I'm going 5.6 but if I slow up some it stays on 5.6 and then may flicker down to 5.1(or up to 6.1 if I speed up a little)
- No On/Off switch - you have to plug this in each time you want to use it and unplug when done. It does eventually go to sleep, but having a physical on/off would be great
- Need Grease - This needs lithium grease every month(at least) to keep it from squeaking too much. Not too terrible, but would've been nice to know ahead of time.
- Stability - This is a small unit, which is great. However, since it has a slim profile it can get to wobbling if you're really rocking the speed. All of the weight is at the bottom so it won't fall, but you will need some extra room just in case. Also, make sure to have a level base to set it on.

NOTES:
- Get a Mat - If you plan to have this in a carpeted room, get one of the exercise mats. They aren't overly expensive, and they'll soak up any sweat that falls off. A small towel can do the same job, but there isn't a ton of space.
- Motion Differences - If you use a big gym quality machine a lot, the motion on this is different enough to be noticeable on your first use. I really felt this in my quadriceps the first week despite using my gym's machine all the time. This goes away, but don't be shocked if you have to attune your muscles to this
- Lean Forward Design - I did a lot of reading on elliptical design, and the experts were dead on about this type of elliptical 'forcing' you to lean forward. It's hard to explain, but you feel as if you're leaning into the machine as you exercise instead of standing straight up. This can cause some folks discomfort, so please be aware.
- Assembly tips - there are several parts that need grease on assembly. These parts are pre-greased and bagged for shipment. I suggest turning those 'bags' inside out and wiping the grease back onto the parts before assembly. This helps cut down on squeaking.
- 2 headphone jacks - there are 2 headphone plug spots. The one on top is harder to see while on the machine, but it is where you plug your MP3 player into to use the speakers. The second one on the bottom is for plugging headphones into. This bypasses the speakers without the need to unplug your MP3 player.(took me a minute to realize why the sound didn't work my first go around ;-
- Height in Use - I'm 6'1 and have standard ceilings around 7.5 feet high. I also have a dome lighting fixture right over this thing and I don't come close to hitting my head. However, I'm probably at the upper limit on height. Much more and the stride would be too short and middle handles(for heart rate) would be too far away.

Feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comments, and I'll try to answer!
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on November 8, 2013
I've owned this elliptical for almost two years and it's been a good elliptical so far. I'm 5'9" 180lbs and this elliptical gives a pretty good workout. Not as great as the ones at 24 since it has no incline option, but it's great for a home use elliptical.

About a year into using the EX-59 I started to get some knocking noises and I could also hear the belt rubbing on the inside of the machine. I took apart the machine to get access to the internals and was able to get the belt back on the wheel so it wouldn't rub anymore. However, it took me forever to find out what was making that annoying metal knocking squeaking clanking noise. I took off the handle bar arms, disconnecting it from the foot pedal arms and applied grease to those areas. Movement was smoother, but still there was that clanking noise. Examining the handlebar arms, I noticed that where the arms connect to the foot pedal arms there is a piece that rotates 360 degrees on the handlebar arms. Upon attempting to rotate this piece I heard and felt the noise and click. This was the source of the noise and the click that occurred with every step. Using an allen wrench, I was able to, with a lot of force, unscrew the bolt holding the rotating piece to the handlebar arm. Pulling it off took a lot of elbow grease as well as it looks like the grease had dried up and what looked like rust was present causing friction. I cleaned both pieces with WD40 and steel wool, making sure to get all the old grease and rust off before applying lithium based synthetic white grease. Attaching the pieces back together, the movement was smooth and not sticking. After reassembling the arm and foot pedals, I gave it a test run. The elliptical was whisper quiet! It was never this quiet.

I wanted to post a picture to the amazon picture to show the problem area, but it seems users can't upload pictures.

To see the problem piece navigate here: http://goo.gl/NeCgqU
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on January 16, 2012
If you're thinking about buying one of these machines--buy it! If this machine was made in the USA it would cost $3,000. I'm mechanically gifted and it took approximately 2.5 hours to put together. I say approximately because I was not counting. I had other important things to do besides this, so I took assembly breaks. Some people have said the unit squeeks. In my view this is because of faulty assembly. Don't think that this is a piece of cake to put together "properly" because it isn't! And you don't need to go out to purchase extra grease. Every moving part joint is connected by greased roller bearings and they are not going to squeek--unless the parts were assembled incorrectly. There are steel washers. There are Teflon washers. Most of these washers have to be stacked in a specific order. If you miss this assembly order, guess what, you may have sqeeks. This is a very smooth operating machine and I'm impressed with the quality and design. Before I bought the Horizon I went to a sports store and tried out the Diamondback 510, which was also very smooth and the same size as the Horizon EX-59. They wanted $1,100 for it and would deliver this to me and set it up for $49. I would also have to add 7% state sales tax to this. That would come to $1,229.43. The Horizon was delivered to my door. I put it together. My total cost was $599 and I am happy. I saved $630.43!
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on April 24, 2012
I don't usually write reviews for products especially on amazon because I buy a lot of stuff and it would be time consuming. However, I have to write this review of the Horizon Elliptical I purchased a few months ago.

I had my last elliptical about 5 years and gave it quite a beating. Once I decided that I needed to purchase a new one, I began a search through tons of reviews and product descriptions. (it was kind of like information overload after a while) There was some great advice I found on one of the reviews about going down to The Sports Authority to try some out before buying one online. After what seemed like far too long to research my purchase I had limited it down to 2 ellipticals. This Horizon and a Schwinn. After reading the reviews about the Horizon I decided to go with it over the Schwinn. (also because I was tired of researching)

When my trainer arrived the box had a hole in it. It didn't look that bad so I signed for it. After assembling the elliptical (it was very well laid out with labels on parts such as left, right etc.. and came with all the tools needed to do the assembly) the damage from the hole in the box became apparent. The side plate of the cover for the wheel that spins when you pedal was cracked. I don't really care what it looks like, it is in the garage and functionality is what really mattered to me. So I went ahead and used it for a while.

Apparently something inside was damaged when the cover was broken. There was a loud clunking sound that would come and go and after a few weeks became quite annoying. Not being one to complain about products I have purchased I was hesitant to call Horizon about it. When I finally did call I was pleasantly surprised to talk to a real person who actually seemed to know what she was talking about. Even though the damage was from the shipper and not them she walked me through all the possibilities of what could be broken and shipped out the parts to do the repairs.

After the parts arrived I called back to see about the technician scheduling a service date. The same customer service rep explained to me that she was trying diligently to find a service technician who would come to our house but we were outside the service area. (We live in a rural area)

To finish this long review, and the reason I decided to write it in the first place is this:

The company went to great lengths to get my elliptical fixed and when they couldn't do any more they replaced it with a new one! The whole time they treated me like I was an important customer and I got to speak with real people. (and it will probably be 20 years before I buy another one so they don't have much to gain)

In closing, this elliptical and this company are terrific. I hope this helps someone who might be wavering between a couple of choices to make a better-informed decision.
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on December 5, 2012
PROS:

+ My girlfriend and I were able to set this beast up in 1.5 hours
+ It is smooth as butter, extremely quite (makes almost no noise)
+ Box is extremely well packaged, so even if it gets bashed around in shipping I expect it will arrive unbroken. (Not many plastic parts as well)
+ Having low ceilings in the basement ( only 7 feet ) was worried that being 6"2 my head would hit the ceiling, but I'm just SHY of that.. so yay
+ The setup instructions are VERY easy to follow.. first time I have seen a company do such a great job setting up the assembly instructions
+

CONS:

+ I have yet to find any cons-- I will update this as time goes on

OTHER THOUGHTS:

+ I don't plan on using some of the feature / Built in Speakers / Preset information
+ You can hear the mechanism that adds resistance shifting when you increase or decrease resistance -- The instructions tell you to unplug the unit when it's not in use... meaning if you were to unplug it mid cycle at the end of your workout I could potential see an issue... I make sure that before unplugging it after a work out cycle to ensure that the locking mechanism isn't modifying the resistance.
+ I've read some reviews about squeaky parts and I can see that happening over time ( but what do you expect... you have a bunch of metal parts rubbing ... When we come to that bridge we will cross it with some lube .. no problem.
+ I read another review from a tall male complaining about the stride-- @ 6"2 - 6"3 I have no problems with the stride... Ditched my overpriced lifetime fitness membership for this and the stride is comparable to the machines that I had been using.
+ If anyone wants pictures or has any questions let me know-
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on April 28, 2012
So, I've had this model for just about a week, and I like it. I've owned one elliptical prior to this-- a Fitness Quest Eclipse 4000--so this was a little bit of a step up from that. I have also used several different gym ellipticals. My review will compare this model with both the pro and consumer models.

Compared to the Eclipse:
* This model feels smoother, seems to have a longer stride (though I can't say for sure, since my old one is in a garage in Ohio), and allows me to stand up straighter. I always felt as though I were bending forward a bit too much on the old one, and that's really hard on the knees--particularly for me, with osteoarthritis.
* Like the Eclipse, it isn't terribly wide, which is good if you're looking for a narrow footprint but bad if you're very tall or heavy. These cheaper models will sway a bit back and forth, which can make you feel a little off balance.
* The handlebars also seem closer together on this one than they were on the Eclipse. This is especially an issue combined with the location of the cup holder: If I bend down to grab my water bottle while moving, I can easily get knocked in the head with a handlebar. Be careful!
* Another feature this has that the Eclipse doesn't is a built-in 3-speed fan.
* Finally, this model has speakers, which the Eclipse didn't have. They're not *great* speakers, but they're OK, and you can plug in your iPhone or iPod or Zune or whatever with the usual cable (not included).

Compared to gym models:
* I find this to be just as quiet as the $4,000 gym models I've used.
* Of course, the controls are more limited: It has just three different workouts (Rolling, Weight Loss, and Intervals), and no way to incline. Obviously, the gym models have many more options for workouts.
* Also, there's no way to personalize the readout by entering user weight. Getting heart rate from the handle sensors seems pretty simple and accurate; however, it would be more useful if it helped you determine how many calories you are burning, which of course depends to an extent on your weight. The calorie burn readout, therefore, is probably a very general one based on your distance traveled and time. If I were the average 150-pound user, that would be great, but I'm not. So, you'll need to keep in mind that the calories burned is pretty ballpark.

Pros:
* Quiet--doesn't drown out TV or radio; doesn't bother others in the room (well, not counting the loud squeak it's developed)
* Smooth motion
* Upright position of user is better for knees
* Built-in speakers for mp3 player
* Very affordable for the workout you're getting
* Feels pretty solidly built
* Pedals are closer together than on many models, meaning you're not standing with your feet at an unnatural distance from one another
* Didn't take long to put together (would have been 30 minutes or so had my husband not dropped a bolt inside the front--watch out for that gaping opening!)

Cons:
* Already squeaking loudly, a week after I started using it. I'm hoping Horizon will get back to me soon with a solution. The support document we downloaded from their Web site gives a series of instructions for lubricating all the necessary parts, but that seems ridiculous considering I've had it only a week.
* The narrow base--I'm actually considering jerry-rigging some sort of extension bars for the center support, to try to help it stay more stable while I'm working out.
* Fan is perfectly pointed at the neck of a 5'6" user; taller users would find it fairly useless, I would think. It's not adjustable. If you're particularly petite, it might blow right over your head.
* Handlebars are a bit too close together, IMHO.

I'm hoping we can get the squeak sorted, because I much prefer using this machine to another hour on the dreadmill.

If you are an elliptical newbie, please note that foot numbness is a common issue. I still get it, and I'm not sure whether it's something wrong with my form or just something wrong with me in general. At about 20 minutes in or so, my toes start to tingle. I generally just pause momentarily, wiggle my feet and shake my legs out, and continue. Repeat as needed. ;-)

*UPDATE 2013* Having resolved the squeaking issue, I wanted to update this rating. I'm pleased with the elliptical and will definitely recommend this model. Currently, I'm using it on my off-days from running, and it's still a good workout.
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on May 2, 2013
well, I purchased this in march of 2012...now let me tell you, I have a love/hate relationship with this machine...I hate exercise in any way shape or form and after trying every diet pill known to man I finally decided that exercise was the only way....I knew if I was spending this much money it needed to be more to me than a coat rack..so I committed myself to it...setup was an hour and a half event....and the trial showed me how out of shape I was...when I began this commitment I was 175 pounds and at 5'5 that's not very good....by thanks giving I was down to 125...now I am about 118 and trying to learn the art of maintaining...I have never been skinny and now people tell me that I'm too skinny and for me that is amazing....it wasn't easy to get here and I did combine it with a lower calorie (1200) diet and I changed the way I ate and actually Wendy's and McDonalds helped with their grilled wraps...but without my horizon ex-59 I have to say I couldn't have gotten here...I did 30 minutes a day every day until recently...now I do 20 minutes 3-4 times a week...and if I see that my weight has gone up a few pounds I go back to 20 minutes a day...I love this machine but it never gets any easier...elliptical exercise is not easy not than any exercise is but I thought over time it would get better-it didn't but it works-it really works
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on February 20, 2013
I put together stuff all the time but I tend to be slow-ish at it. It took me about 2.5 hours to unpack, assemble, and clean up. Not bad.

Directions are pretty clear (parts are also labeled R and L as well for the one time I wasn't sure which part was wanted). Tightening up the hex screws was rather difficult and the allen screws aren't exactly fun, so get a racheting screwdriver if you have one. Running the wire through the post wasn't easy, but that's where you just get a long wire or something that's longer than the post, tie the wire onto it, and pull through. The hard part is getting past some metal bits at the top end (you'll see what I mean), but no biggie.

The grease for the parts is adequate, but you want to grasp the post firmly with one hand and pull the bag off the post with the other hand; the grease will stay mostly in the spots between your fingers and scrape off the bag. Use the grease left in the bag to rub into the non-greased parts before inserting the posts.

For me, the levelers on the back brace had to be spun nearly completely out (with the others all the way in). I have no idea if this is normal for this machine, but it's odd. It doesn't seem to be causing any problems.

The docked star is for two petty things and one big one. The two petty things are that the cup holder is really low, annoyingly so, and the book rest is just barely big enough to hold my Kindle in its case (not folded back) but is impossible for books, magazines, or iPads. All in all, not deal-breakers for me, but you should know this before purchasing since it could be a deal-breaker for you.

The big thing is that I was getting a serious thump on one side of the machine. I tightened everything, cleaned the tracks, made sure the levelers weren't the issue, checked everything I could think of... The internet suggested that it was a messed-up bearing, but it seemed to be a thump in the middle or the back, not in the wheel bit.

Here's what it was: the track is a piece of metal screwed in over the rail (pre-installed) and, apparently, the back screw on one side was installed so that the rail was ever-so-slightly bent. So, every time it was rolled over, it popped down against the rail and made a thump. Solution: loosen the screw. Thump gone... mostly. Since the screw was installed with a power tool, it bent the track slightly downwards in the shape of the screw. So, the rail can't completely flatten down as it should because the screw is still holding it a bit off (and loosening it more leads to other problems), However, it's a very slight thump (heard, not felt now) and only when I go backwards.

Actual use is quiet (other than the beep of the buttons) and the difficulty is definitely difficult. 10 levels is more than almost anyone could use. Going backwards is a very different experience than what I've had on other machines. This is much more challenging (perhaps because of the stand-up-straight design) and actually feels like a different motion (whereas the difference between back and forth has been negligible in other machines for me). I did notice that my ankles were a little sore the first few times I used it, but it was totally a muscle thing and just pointed out what a workout it was giving me.

All in all, it's a good machine and does what it's supposed to do.
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on December 14, 2013
This is the first Elliptical I've purchased. I have placed in the upstairs on a mat. I'm a 33 year old female. I typically buy furniture that requires you to assemble it, so assembling this was no issue for me. What did suck was carrying the actual machine piece up the stairs by myself. It is heavy, but adding to the difficulty is the awkward size and the lack of great places to grip to. I took it stair by stair, but got it up there by myself. When I purchased this I also purchased some more grease as suggested by other reviewers. I made sure to add some additional grease to every piece that was already greased up. After a few uses I did notice some occasional ticking coming from the left side. I went back and double checked that I had tightened everything good and evenly, and did notice a few screws that should be tighter. Once tightening them up, the noise went away. I think this is a great machine for your dollar. If you are desperate to lose weight but don't want to or can't spend thousands of dollars on gym quality machines, take a chance on this one. It gets the job done. It will help you to lose weight. My 10 year old son also uses this machine and loves it. I like the built in fan, though it doesn't exactly cool you down, it keeps a light breeze. The directions say to allow for X amount of space behind the machine. I have my machine in a tight space at the end of the bed with the back to the wall, just close enough that the foot pedals don't touch anything. This allows me to also watch TV while working out to help distract me form the boredom in the beginning and the burn in the end. I am giving this five stars, because for the price I can't imagine what more you could want or expect. I consider it top of the line in budget Elliptical machines.
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on January 9, 2012
The EX-59 elliptical certainly met my expectations, especially given the price.

It was rather heavy, so after the delivery man left it in my garage, I opened up the package and brought the pieces up individually. Everything was well packed and the packaging left little room for damage. Despite the box being a little banged up, everything inside was fine. The only piece that was individually heavy was the base, but my girlfriend and I were easily able to get it up the stairs with little strain.

Assembly took between one and two hours. The instructions were detailed, and the screws, washers, bolts, etc were nicely separated into the different steps of assembly. All tools required for assembly were included, and were of appropriate size and quality to assemble. I assembled it by myself and had no issues at all. The pieces were labeled with L (left) and R (right) stickers in case there were doubts, but it would have been difficult to mess that up. Overall, I felt that the directions and assembly were well thought out.

As others recommended, I made sure to tighten down each screw extra tight to prevent noise. Although there was a small amount of squeaking during the first use, everything settled in and there hasn't been any from that point forward. I do understand that parts need to be lubricated about once a month, or depending on use. The individual pieces were mostly solid and well made. The only piece that concerned me was the plastic food pads. I wish they were made with a hardened rubber instead. This was the only major quality difference I could find between this model and one you might find at a gym. Nevertheless, I didn't run into any slipping so the grips are fine.

There was, however, one screw that was part of the main housing, which was not properly secured. I think the nut fell off on the inside of the machine. It rattled around during the first use, but has since gotten stuck or fallen to the bottom. The screw was pre-installed at the factory and was not part of the assembly, so this was a quality issue on behalf of the manufacturer.

Perhaps the only truly disappointing part of the machine is the electronic display/controller. The programs are a little simple. You have the option of setting your target time, distance or calories, as well as having the machine auto adjust for three different resistance programs. This combination makes 9 out of the 10 advertised programs. The 10th program is a custom one that you can set accordingly. The machine does not have a way for you to indicate your weight, which potentially makes the calorie counter very inaccurate. It also does not ask your age. Your target heartrate depends on your age, and without that information, the weight loss program is ineffective. The built-in speakers are about what I expected. Not as good as a full surround sound home theater system, but acceptable for the convenience. The fan is also nice and strong with three settings, but emits a foul odor of plastic and oil during the first several uses.

As other reviewers have mentioned, the stride is a bit shorter than I would have liked. I'm only 5'6", and the stride is much less than I am used to at the gym. Additionally, the vertical range of motion, which the company calls the "FLATellipse" foot path, is much flatter than the ellipticals I am used to. I might have picked a different one if I had known this, but this machine is only supplementary to my gym workouts. Despite the shortcomings (no pun intended) in the range of motion, the machine still offers a great workout that causes me to work up a sweat. Overall, I think it was a good purchase given the price.
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